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Full text of "Speech of Josiah Turner, Jr., of Orange : delivered in the Senate, January, 1861"

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Delivered in the Senate, January, 1861. 

[The Senate having under consideration a bill to call a Con- 
vention of the people of North Carolina upon Federal Relations, 
Mr. Turner moved to amend, by striking out all after the word 
bill, and insert Mr. Crittenden's resolutions, with additional re- 
solutions offered by himself.] 

Mr. Speaker : — The good and great men who framed the 
Constitution of the United States, well knew that the Constitu- 
tions of States, like the constitutions of men, would wear out — 
and hence in the fifth article of the fourth section of the Con- 
stitution, they provided means of amendment, by which new 
life might be infused into the Constitution. 

The two questions which now agitate the country, and shake 
it from centre to circumference, were to the framers of the Con- 
stitution, serious obstacles to the harmonious union of the old 

When calls were made upon each of the old thirteen to con- 
' tribute men and money for the war of the revolution, the diffi- 
culty was in what ratio shall they contribute. 

First, they tried the valuation of land as the basis of contri- 
bution. This they abandoned, and adopted population as better 
evidence of ability to contribute. The South said our young 
aud our old slaves are a burden upon us ; in laying direct tax 

they should not be counted as a free white man. Agreed said 
the North, if they are not counted in taxation, they must not 
be counted in representation. So five slaves shall count as 
three free men, both in taxation and representation. Thus was 
settled the slavery question. 

The territorial question for awhile defeated and delayed the ar- 
ticles of confederation. New York, Virginia, Georgia and North 
Carolina, owned most of the public, or waste lands, as they were 

Those States which owned no public lands, demanded, that 
the waste or public lands should be brought into the hodgepodge; 
having been bought with the common blood and treasury of all, 
they should be held and regarded as the joint property of all. 

North Carolina and the States owning land, said, the public 
or waste land, are within our chartered limits and rightly be- 
long to us. In a spirit of conciliation and concession, they 
finally yielded their lands to the confederation, as common pro- 
perty. All did this, save Massachusetts. She refused to give up 
the territory of Maine. New York was first to set the example. 
She gave up all her lands west of her present boundary ; her 
title was doubtful, if of any value. South Carolina followed — 
she had little or nothing to give. On the 1st of March, 1784, 
Virginia ceded her vast domain in the North- West, extending 
to the lakes and the Mississippi. North Carolina ceded to the 
confederacy the territory which now makes the State of Ten- 
nessee. By the Mexican war, we acquired a vast territory. 
New England proposes to exclude us from that territory. We 
have not forgotten the argument she used to cause us to surren- 
der Tennessee. Let us offer their own argument with which we 
were convinced ; let us with firmness and moderation enforce 
the argument in the Union, if needs be, with the sword. If 
they are insensible to the justice of our rights in the territories ; 
if they are forgetful of our magnanimity in letting them into 
territory which lay within our chartered limits, let us not se- 
cede nor lose sight of them until Av*e have forced them into a 
sense of justice, and an acknowledgement of our rights. I am 
for securing our territorial rights by argument and negotiation 
in the Union ; when that fails, I am for coercion. If we can't 
whip New England into the Union, we can't whip her out of it. 

The fifth article of the Constitution says : " Congress, when- 
ever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall 
propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application 
of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several States, shall call 
a Convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, 
shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of this Consti- 
tution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the 
several States, or by Conventions in three-fourths thereof, as 
the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by 

It is now conceded on the part of all, that the Union can be 
maintained only by amending the Constitution of the United 
States, and making it fully acknowledge and forever settle the 
rights of the South. That clause of the Constitution quoted 
above, gives to Congress and three-fourths of the several legis- 
latures the power of amending the Constitution. Let this Gen- 
oral Assembly begin the work. 

When your State Convention is called it will have no consti- 
tutional right to break up and destroy the government by peace- 
able secesion. That Convention can only propose amendments 
to the Constitution ; this legislature can do the same, and this 
Legislature, with Congress and three-fourths of the States, can 
redress our national grievances quite as well as a Convention ; 
but the friends of the Convention have left us in no doubt as to 
their purpose — they mean to subvert and destroy the govern- 
ment, if they can. 

The original bill was a monster. It proposed to inaugurate 
revolution without consulting the people. It violated the plain 
letter and spirit of the Constitution, which we had just sworn to 
support. Its avowed friends are now its avowed enemies. Well mav 
they secede from such a bill. The old Napoleon, standing behind 
his cannon, might have proposed such a bill to the French 
-^people, but the present Napoleon dare not do it. 

I have said your Convention, when called, could not carry 

- \ the State out of the Union by peaceable secession. Who sus- 

I tains me in this opinion ? First, Mr. Madison, who we are told 

J> regarded nullification, secession and disunion, synonymous terms, 

as dangerous to the Union as. fire to gunpowder. He said " to 

v say a State could at pleasure secede, was to put a keg of powder 


under the Constitution, and a match in every man's hand to 
blow up the government at his pleasure." 

The golden speaker Webster, said : " The Constitution does 
not provide for events which must be preceded by its own des- 
tiuction. Secession, therefore, since it must bring these conse- 
quences with it, is revolutionary. What is revolution ? That 
which overturns existing public authority ; that which arrests 
the exercise of the supreme power ; that which subverts one 
authority and substitutee another. 

In 1833, Mr. Calhoun said, civil war, disunion and anarchy, 
roust accompany secession. 

What is the voice from the grave of him, to whom every 
Democrat once paid homage ? I mean the hero, patriot and sage 
of the Hermitage ! Be still and hear it : " The right of the peo- 
ple of a single State to absolve themselves at will and without 
the consent of the other States from their most solemn obliga- 
tions, and hazard the liberties and happiness of the millions 
composing this Union, cannot be acknowledged." 

Open and organized resistance to the laws, shall not be per- 
mitted with impunity. Such was the language of Jackson to 
South Carolina in 1833. 

Are the States sovereign a»d independent ? No ! Who 
sustains me in this opinion ? 

First. Chief Justice Marshall, in the case of Craig against 
the State of Missouri, says : " That the States in somethings 
are sovereign, in other things they are subordinate." 

Secondly. The Supreme Court of North Carolina, in the 
matter of Strange and Thompson, to be found in 3d Hawks, 
have declared the Constitution of North Carolina in part an- 
nulled by the Constitution of the United States, and the wise 
and good Judge Taylor, in delivering the opinion of the court, 
says : " The execution of any human system of laws consists 
as much in their administration and practice, as in the theory 
itself." And so it does. Mr. Speaker, a bad government well 
administered, is better than a good government wickedly and 
corruptly administered. There is no defect in the theory of our 
government; the defect is all in the administration and practice. 
A wise and sagacious statesman once said, you can easily tell 
the character of rulers by the condition of the people. " If 

you find a people prosperous in their industry, united at home 
and respected abroad, you may be sure their government is con- 
ducted by men of integrity and ability. If, on the other hand, 
you find them divided at home, mistrusting and hating their 
rulers, you may be sure their affairs are conducted by men weak, 
wicked or corrupt." 

I have not, Mr. Speaker, completed the proof that the States 
single, are in many things subordinate to the States united. In 
the revised code, is a letter from General Washington, as Presi- 
dent of the Convention of 1787, submitting the Constitution to 
Congress. The Father of his Country says : " It is obviously 
impracticable in the Federal Government of these States to se- 
cure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet pro- 
vide for the safety and interest of all. Individuals entering 
into society must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest. 
In all our deliberations on this subject, we kept steadily in our 
view, that which appeared to us the greatest interest of every 
true American — the consolidation of our Union, in which is in- 
volved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our national 

Patrick Henry advised the people of Virginia not to go into 
the present Union — the States would only be corporations. 

Again, sir, the Constitution of North Carolina declares, "that 
perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free 
State, and ought not to be allowed." The supreme government 
at Washington, daily disregard this plain injunction, by issuing 
patents, and thus creating monopolies. If further proof is 
wanting to show that the States are in many things subordinate, 
I call to witness the oath we have taken to support the Consti- 
tution of North Carolina, not inconsistent with the Constitution 
of the United States. I call to witness the plain letter of the 
Constitution itself, " forbidding States to coin money, or emit 
bills of credit, or keep troops or ships of war in time of peace, 
or entering into any agreement or contract with another State 
or a foreign power, or engaging in war, unless invaded or in 
imminent danger." Tell me, Mr. Speaker, that any State in 
this Union is sovereign and independent, without these attri- 
butes of sovereignty. You had as well tell me that Charles V. 
was sovereign after he abdicated in favor of his son Phillip. 

Diocletian, the Roman Emperor was sovereign, but he abdicated; 
and retired to Solona, and betook himself to raising cabbage. 
The Southern States were sovereign, but they abdicated to the 
General Government, and betook themselves to making cotton. 
The Northern States abdicated, and betook themselves to manu- 
facturing. There was another Emperor, we are told, who 
reigned and abdicated with Diocletian — it was Maximian. Maxi- 
mian was not content to live in retirement. Like South Carolina, 
he wished to resume his sovereignty, and he did so by seizing 
the throne and the treasury, producing a series of public 
calamities which resulted in his own destruction. 

Mr. Speaker, the people of North Carolina cannot now de- 
clare for disunion, and march off with South Carolina, without 
a sacrifice of their dignity and a surrender of their own opinion. 
In November last they declared the election of Lincoln would be no 
cause for disunion; Lincoln has done nothing, Lincoln has said noth- 
ing, to cause them to change that opinion. If they go, they go 
not upon their own judgment and conviction, but they go as 
captives tied to the chariot wheels of South Carolina, to attend 
and grace her unconstitutional triumphs. I shall feel humiliated 
if I see them tied to the chariot wheels, and fear if I see them 
seated in the chariot, I shall think of Phaeton, the son of Apollo, 
who said he had discovered a new track across the heavens for 
the sun — 

" Thus Phaeton once amid the etherial plains, 
Leaped on his father's car and seized the reins, 
Far from his course impelled the glowing sun 
Till nature's laws in wild disorder run." 

I say with such political charioteers as young Rhett and 
Keitt, let the people of North Carolina beware how they ride. 
I had as soon think of trusting Mons. Blondin to take me out of 
this Union upon his back, on the stran of wire which he has 
suspended over the rushing cataract of Niagara, as to trust my- 
self to be taken out by those conspirators against the govern- 
ment, who fired the southern heart and precipitated the cotton 
States into revolution. A wide breach is now made between 
the North and the South ; a breach is made in the Constitution. 
The extreme North and the extreme South live and move in 
violation of the Constitution. Who shall heal the breach made 

In the Union and the Constitution ? Who shall restore peace to 
the country ? Not those who disturb its tranquility. North 
Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee and old 
Kentucky, must heal the breach. They must restore tranquility 
to the country. Let these six States, who obey the laws, main- 
tain the Constitution and keep the faith. Let them, I say, stand 
upon Crittenden's resolutions, and settle at once and forever the 
territorial and the slavery question. Let them, in the languaage 
of the patriotic Hayne, " call upon the North and upon the South, 
to meet in the true spirit of conciliation and concession, and 
dry up at its fount these never failing sources of the waters of 
bitterness," and be assured, if they can do it, posterity will re- 
gard them as the second founders of the Republic. 

If all the southern States shall desert the Union, the Consti- 
tution and the flag of Washington, let North Carolina stand 
alone. When she parts with the general government, I pray 
you, let it not be by that shameful, disgraceful, doctrine, 
" peaceable secession." Let her not leave with her back to the 
enemy. Let her part as Jacob did with Laban. 

Sacred history describes the parting of Jacob and Laban, 
after this manner : " And Jacob beheld the countenance of 
Laban, and behold it was not towards him as before. And 
Jacob took a stone and set it up for a pillar. And Jacob said 
unto his brethren, gather stones, and they took stones and made 
an heap, and they did eat there upon the heap. And Laban 
said to Jacob, behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I 
have cast betwixt thee and me. This heap be witness, and this 
pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, 
and that thou shall not pass over this heap and this pillar unto 
me for harm." 

The countenance of the North is not towards us as it was 
before. Give time, and if that countenance does not change take 
a stone and set it up for a pillar. Set it up on the line that 
divides the North from the South. Tell the North that they can- 
not pass by it for harm to us. If they should attempt to pass 
by it, call on the South, now so eager for the fray, to come and 
defend slave territory. Say to the whole South as Inka said to 
Bahama, "here and now is the time to strike." 


The District of Columbia is slave territory. Shall we desert it ? 
Shall we give it up to the enemy ? We have rights and pro- 
perty in the territories, are they to be surrendered ? We have 
been taxed for eighty years to build up an army and a navy — are 
they to be surrendered to ? Was ever such a proposition before 
made to reasonable men who know their rights, and knowing, 
will dare maintain them ? 

Will you be better off in the new government ? Has South 
Carolina, now that she is out of the Union, any more security 
for her slaves than she had before ? What law has she passed 
to make Massachusetts surrender fugitives from labor ? I wish 
our Democratic friends would allow the slaveholders to take 
care of their slaves as they do of their horses and other pro- 
property. We should be better off. For twenty years they have 
assumed the guardianship of the slave upon this question they 
made the South almost a unit for Mr. Buchanan. They de- 
nounced such slaveholders as Gilmer and Rayner, because they 
would not vote with them. Now the man who fails to vote with 
them, is an enemy to the institution and a traitor to the South, 
an ally of Lincoln and a friend of Seward. Such are the 
means used to drive good men into the support of their wicked 
designs, for the destruction of the best government the world 
ever saw. 

After the reign of Phillip, when Spain was in danger, and 
her statesmen in doubt what to do, they always said, let us con- 
sult the genius of Phillip. America is in danger, we are in 
doubt what to do — let us consult the genius and spirit of Wash- 
ington. His farewell address is the noblest production that 
ever fell from an uninspired pen. In that address he as clearly 
foretells the coming of our present difficulties, as did the pro- 
phets^of old foretell the difficulties, dangers and final ruin of 
Babylon and Jerusalem. If the Black Republican North, and 
the Red Republican South, will only hear counsel and receive 
instruction from the genius of Washington, peace to our un- 
happy country will soon be restored. 

That address says : " In contemplating the causes which may 
disturb our Union, it occurs, as a matter of serious concern, 
that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing 
parties by geographical discriminations, Northern and South- 


era. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence 
within particular districts, is to misrepresent the opinions and 
aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too 
much against the jealousies and heart-burnings which spring 
from these misrepresentations ; they tend to render alien to 
each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal 
affection." Who will not bear evidence to the truth of this pro- 
phesy? who will deny that the political weapons used for ten 
years by both North and South have been falsehood and mis- 
representation ? 

•^Again," says the political prophet, "let me warn you in 
the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit 
of party." This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our 
nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human 
mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments ; but 
in those of a popular fonn, it is seen in its greatest rankness, 
and is truly their worst enemy. 

-The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharp- 
ened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissensions, 
which, in different ages and countries, has perpetuated the most 
horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. 

"'The duty of a wise people is to discourage and restrain the 
spirit of party. It serves always to distract the public 
councils, and enfeeble the public administration. It agi- 
tates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false 
alarms ; kindles the animosity of one party against the 
other, and foments occasional riot and insurrection. It opens 
the door to foreign influence and corruption. The unity 
of government which constitutes you one people is also now 
dear to you. It is justly so ; for it is a main pillar in the 
edifice of your real independence, the supporting your tran- 
quility at home, your peace abroad, of your safety, of your 
prosperity, of that very liberty which you so highly prize. 
Much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in 
your minds the conviction of this truth ; as this is the point in 
your political fortress against which the batteries of internal 
and external enemies will be most constantly and actively di- 
rected, cherish a cordial, habitual and immovable attachment 
to the Union ; think and speak of it as the palladium of your 
political prosperity and safety. Watching for its preservation 


with jealous anxiety, discountenancing whatever may suggest 
even a suspicion that it can, in any event, be abandoned." 

Washington as clearly foresaw, Mr. Speaker, as you and I 
now see, that party spirit is to ruin the country. Two factions 
are now pulling down the government over the heads of a quiet, 
contented and happy people. Both factions seem to have for- 
gotten four things : That tftere is a God; a Union; a Constitu- 
tion, and a people. They have forgotten that this government 
is one of God's ordinances for the propagation of his gospel ; 
the improvement of Europe ; the civilization of Africa, and the 
domestic tranquility of America. Both factions have forgotten 
that the people do not live by office. 

The Democratic leaders and office-holders have been spoiled 
by success. They are like Frederick the Great — they have 
been so used to victory they cannot brook defeat. When Fred- 
erick was hard pressed by his enemies in a desperate fight 
for the capital of his kingdom, he sent a dispatch to Berlin 
saying, "All is safe." The tide of battle changed, and an- 
other messenger is sent — " Tell the Royal family to fly ; all is 
lost ; I have no resources left ; I will not survive the ruin of 
my country. I will not be taken alive. It is hard for a man 
to bear what I have to bear." 

When the battle for the Presidency was going on in Novem- 
ber last, the Fredericks of Democracy sent dispatches to the 
Capital " all is safe." When the battle closed, the Goddess of 
Fortune, they found, had deserted them. Now they send word, 
" tell the royal family to fly, not only from the Capital, but 
from the Union ; all is lost ; they have no resources left ; they 
will not survive the ruin cf their party ; they think it hard for 
man to bear what they have to bear ; they will not be taken 

There is another point of resemblance between Frederick the 
Great and the Democratic leaders : Frederick always fought 
■with deadly poison in his pocket. In a little glass case he car- 
ried corrosive sublimate, that he might commit suicide and not 
be taken alive. The leaders of Democracy have fought two 
battles with the poison of disunion in their pockets. You re- 
member, Mr. Speaker, that Senator Clingman recommended re- 
sistance in 1856 in case of Fremont's election. Domiciliarv 


visits, such as were common in the French revolution, are hinted 
at ; or in his own words, those who acquiesced in the election of 
a Black Republican were to be " visited with swift attention by 
vigilance committees." The leaders of the party are now ready 
to commit suicide by swallowing the disunion pills which they 
have carried into two campaigns. I shall be greatly deceived 
in the character and intelligence of the honest Democratic peo- 
ple if they take such physic from such political doctors and 

Posterity, Mr. Speaker, will read the history of the present 
day with utter astonishment, that thirty millions of people had 
allowed one hundred thousand office holders and office seekers 
to endanger their property, persons and liberty, all because the 
Presidential election did not turn out to suit them. The country 
is in imminent danger, and I want the people to come to the 
rescue. If the politicians will only give them a chance, they 
can, they will save us from domestic discord and civil war. Con- 
gress and the politicians cannot save us ; they are the mischief- 
makers : they are the architects of our ruin ; they are opening 
the cartridge box for the people instead of the ballot-box. This 
might do for Europe, for Europe is governed by the sword. It 
will not, it shall net do for America, for she is governed by pub- 
lic opinion and the law. It will be a grand national spectacle, 
worthy the civilization of the age, to see thirty millions of freemen r 
armed with ballots instead of bullets, marching with silent in- 
dignation over the politicians to the polls. The people North 
and South are determined to vote upon Crittenden's proposi- 
tions before they take up the sword. They ought to do it. It 
is due to their God, to their country, to their children, and to 
themselves. The people of North Carolina are not going to 
use the guns that this Legislature is trying to thrust into their 
hands. They are calling for ballots, and you are offering bullets. 
It is hard indeed if those who are to do the fighting, can't first 
be allowed, in an honorable way, to adjust the cause of war. 
The people know those who are so eager to vote arms are not 
going to use them. Every senator, every politician, who goes 
into the army will expect to go as one in command, with good 
pay attached. When reports are made out upon the battle 
field, the people know how they will read — great praise will be 

• 12 

given to the officers in command. The people will be mentioned 
in this way, " three hundred mules, and five thousand men killed." 

During the French Revolution eighty thousand men, women 
and children were put to death in close prisons, by the hands 
of their own neighbors and kindred. After murdering each 
other they began to thirst for our blood, and the French Di- 
rectory were upon the eve of declaring war against the United 
States. Mr. Monroe, our Minister to the French Court, advised 
them not to do so ; to wait until another election ; John Adams 
cannot be re-elected, and then the policy of the United^States 
towards France will be changed. 

Let me say to those who would involve us in civil war — such 
as desolated France — Lincoln cannot be re-elected. Take to 
yourselves the salutary advice given by Mr. Monroe to the 
French people. 

The ninety-four thousand office holders and aspirants, who 
broke up the Democratic party at Charleston, can learn a useful 
lesson by reading Gil Bias. The Count Duke in Gil Bias, like 
some of our late officials in Washington City, was not able to 
account for the public money which had been committed to his 
custody. Unlike our defaulting officials, the Count was not al- 
lowed to resign, but he was dismissed and sent away in^disgrace. 
When his friends called and found him at work, hoe in hand, 
he said : " you see, my friends, I can rise superior to my' mis- 
fortunes." Let the ninety-four thousand office holders who fear 
to lose their places, imitate the Count ; let them go to honest 
work, and rise superior to their misfortunes. Let them cry as 
loud for the Union as they would have done if Breckinridge 
had been elected, and we shall have peace in sixty days. 

I fear, Mr. Speaker, the leaders in this revolution are like 
Garrick — they rely too much upon the stupidity of the people. 
Garrick once called upon Fielding for a play. Fielding said 
it was not finished. " Never mind said Garrick, give it to me ; 
the people are too stupid to find it out." Fielding yielded, and 
sitting behind the curtain to witness the success of his play, 
heard the people hiss before Garrick was half through. Now, 
said Fielding, " Garrick, you see they have found it out." I 
say to the disunionists and revolutionists, before you are half 
through this play, you will hear the people hiss ; they are not so 


stupid but they will find you out. They have already found out that 
the government is falling to pieces by its own corruption. Mr. 
Calhoun said tiiirty years ago — "Avarice and political corrup- 
tion are ruining the countiy." 

When Nathaniel Macon retired from Congress, he said to the 
late Judge Nash : " Ours is the most corrupt Government on 
earth, and instead of growing better, will grow worse." Eloyd 
and the late robbery at Washington City make good the predic- 
tion of Mr. Macon. The people now know that if the days of 
our Republic are numbered, the historian will record that 
the Government got rotten before it got ripe. The people 
without much complaining have allowed their treasury to be 
robbed — they will not stand, like fat oxen, and allow those who 
plundered now to butcher them. 


I am called a coercionist. I never knew a well-regulated 
church, family or government that did not resort to coercion. 
We are all coercionists. We create constables and sheriffs for 
the purpose of coercing. 

What says the Constitution : Sec. 16. " Congress shall exer- 
cise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such dis- 
trict (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of par- 
ticular States, and with the acceptance of Congress, become 
the seat of Government of the United States, and exercise like 
authority over all places purchased by the consent of the Leg- 
islature of the State in which the same shall be, for the erection 
of forts, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings."' — 
Sec. 17. "And to make all laws which shall be necessary and 
proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and 
all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government 
of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof." 

No one will deny the authority of Congress to 6ollect duties in 
all th eports of entry in the United States. Let me read again 
the 17th section, just referred to. Does it not give Congress the 
power to pass all laws necessary to execute all Constitutional 
powers conferred upon the Government ? If the Constitution 
allows force to be used to execute its laws, I cannot help it. I 
never made the Constitution. I do not want to go into the new 


government of the South if they are not going to enforce the 

Constitution or no Constitution, I can't consent, Mr. Speak- 
er, to see a Federal army invade the soil of South Carolina, to 
" subjugate and make her a conquered province." As the Sena- 
tor from Caswell says, South Carolina cannot be subjugated. 
England attempted to subjugate Ireland and Wales. After five 
hundred years of war with one, and two hundred years of war 
with the other, she did conquer them, but it was not with the 
sword. An act of Parliament declared that an Irishman and 
a Welshman were entitled to all the rights and privileges of an 
Englishman, and at once they Avere subdued. Justice was more 
powerful than the sword. Lincoln, Mr. Speaker, has read this 
page in history, as well as you and I. He knows you had as 
well try to subdue the devil as to try to subdue that fierce old 
Huguenot blood. While I would resist the armed invasion of 
South Carolina, I could not join that State in driving out Unit- 
ed States soldiers from forts which they have occupied for 
more than fifty years. If I should hear to-day of troops being- 
sent to Fort Caswell, I could only say, that 's our Fort and our 
troops, and they are lawfully in it. 

One word, Mr. Speaker, to the disunion Senators who are go 
eager to avenge the injured honor of the South. You are al- 
ways too hot or too cold. You have been the most abject sub- 
missionists in the land for many years. The Personal Liberty 
Bills, about which you are now so hot and indignant, you have 
tamely submitted to for twenty years. You honored the State 
that passed the first Personal Liberty Bill, by voting for Bu- 
chanan, one of her citizens, for President. You submitted to 
have your slaves excluded from the common territory by the 
Wilmot Proviso. More than thatj you defended and justified it, 
and sustained Mr. Polk, who gave it his sanction. You are not 
the proper avengers of Southern honor. 

An Irish orator and statesman forty years ago, looking across 
the Atantic with wonder and admiration at the grandeur and 
growth of our government, and the virtue of our people, ex- 
claimed — "happy, proud America, the lightnings of Heaven 
yielded to your philosophy, and the temptations of earth could 
not seduce your patriotism." 


Shall it be said of us whose fathers ruled the lightnings, that 
we could not rule ourselves ? Shall it be said of us whose 
fathers the temptations of earth ceuld not seduce, that we 
were seduced by the temptations of ©ffice ? " Forbid it. Heaven ! 
Forbid it, my countrymen!" Did we bury with the bones of our 
fathers that philosophy which made the lightnings yield, and 
then yielded itself to the Constitution and the law? Did we 
bury with the bones of our fathers that patriotism which made 
us united at home, feared, admired and respected abroad? 
Whither has fled the spirit of America, which animated our 
fathers ? Drive it from this land — where will it take refuge, where 
will it find a resting place ? Woe ! a thousand times woe ! to 
those who would drive that spirit from Columbia's land. 

I will say to the senators from Cleveland and Burke, who rejoice 
that the Stars and Stripes are not allowed to float from the dome 
of the Capitol, and to those senators who with them have despaired 
of the Republic, 

Be still sad hearts and cease repining, 

Behind the clouds I see the Constitution shining. 

The senator from Buncombe, says : " The sting of death has 
entered the Constitution audit is now dead and cold as a corpse." 
The Constitution is not dead ; it only sleepeth. Those who think it 
dead may go and bury it, and role a. great stone upon the se- 
pulchre, and put an army there to guard it, but it will come forth ; 
there will be a resurrection as sure as there is a people.